Thursday, November 03, 2005

Enjoyable, Stupid Movie: Van Wilder Enjoyable, Smart Movie: Real Genius

Van Wilder is a spectacular bad movie. Here is a link which has plenty of the good quotes in wav and mp3 format. I have downloaded some this evening. It is horrible compared to the Godfather of college movies, Animal House, and is more of a slapstick, gross out comedy compared to say PCU. Despite these shortcomings and the requisite love story thrown in, it still delivers laughs and the lead shines above the other actors. Ryan Reynolds carries the movie for most of the time and manages to look like my good friend Brendon the whole time. Like many movies I enjoy that others might find idiotic or lame, it is very quotable. This is key.

VW reminds me of another overlooked but spectacular college movie, Real Genius. Real Genius hit close to home because I attended an Ivy League school which had a strong engineering college and plenty of dorks. There are a lot of inside jokes that engineers know and urban legends of pranks pulled. Here is a great site with plenty connections between the ficitional college and Cal Tech. The story is great (teen accepted into elite school meets wacky brainiacs), the setting is great (college), the random characters are good composites of college friends, and Val Kilmer hits a home run with his delivery and timing. I think Val Kilmer could have been a huge comedic actor after he did Real Genius and Top Secret had he continued down that path. Unfortunately, he did Top Gun and tried to get to the Mel Gibson-Tom Cruise action/drama level and sputtered. This movie is a hidden gem from the '80s. There is a small love story You can find it on Comedy Central from time to time, but it's well worth it to buy it. Like many well written comedies, I catch more the more I watch it.

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